.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

12/2710

Yellowstone National Park's New Native Fish
Conservation Plan - My Comments
The Park is currently seeking comments on the new native fish conservation
plan and although I have zero confidence that what I have to say will be used by
the park employees at all, and I wish to highlight they are all "employees" all the
way up to the highest level, I will be happy to provide my input for the thousands
of readers of this website as well as my three other fly fishing websites with
interested readers.

General:
I have two general views. First of all, what I have to say isn't intended in any way
to adversely affect the many related fly fishing businesses (fly shops, guides,
outfitters, and other non-directly related business like stores, motels, etc.)  that
are in the local areas around the park's perimeter; however, their opinions and
input are no more important than any other citizen of the U.S., that has an
interest in the subject of native fish conservation. The plan's affect on these
businesses shouldn't be a factor in making any decisions on anything.
Secondly, expansion of any government project that involves any expense of tax
payer dollars should be reviewed with utmost care even though this would be a
drop in the bucket to most others government projects.
The United States of
America is currently broke.

That's not meant as a joke or to scare anyone. It's a fact. The national debt
(money borrowed and spend we didn't have) is huge. It's so huge, it's already
threatening the security of this country. It's to the point that it will take our
children and grandchildren years to pay it if it's even possible to do so. Most of
the money is owed to China. The interest alone on the money we owe now is
$800 billion dollars a year. We have around 300,000 million citizens most of
which don't pay any tax. You figure it out.

Any expense of tax payers money over and above what is absolutely necessary
shouldn't get to first base. Whatever funds the new native fish conservation plan
will require, as small as it is in comparison to other government projects many if
not most of which are pure waste, should be funded by an increase in income
not currently available. This plan shouldn't increase the National Park's budget
a cent without they can offset the expense with income. They should be aware
that If the highly paid employees (more than the private sector) increase the
national debt a cent, the park may one day be closed and those high salaries
and benefits may be a thing of the past. It's already happening to states and
don't think for a second it couldn't happen to the national parks.

Many elements of this plan will cost money. Where is it coming from.? That's my
first question. There are many ways to come up with it other than the normal
way.


Now to the Fish Conservation Plan:
1. I give credit to David Knapp (the Trout Zone) for bringing something to my
attention that may otherwise have overlooked. This plan is entitled "Native Fish
Conservation Plan", yet it includes trying to establish native trout in streams that
have never had any native trout. That's border lining pure stupidity.
How can
you conserve something that never existed.
The Gibbon River plan as
proposed should be dropped and the people that come up with the plan should
reexamine the basic purpose and objectives of the plan.

2. I question the overall effectiveness of poisoning and reestablishing native fish
in general. I think there's
great danger in the fish becoming reestablished by
nature or man (especially disgruntled fishing guides and anglers) in these
streams that are taken away from the angler for a long period of time. I don't see
how it is possible to enforce the laws that are supposed to prevent it.
As sad as
it is, the efforts of many concerned anglers that raised lots of money, as
well as the Smoky Mountain National Park officials, failed to get rid of all
the rainbows, or probably suffered a bucket re-stocking plan of
criminals with the native brook trout plan for Lynn Camp Creek.
Hopefully
they came up with a way to catch or kill all the rainbows that they found in the
newly replanted creek, but as of now, that probably cannot be positively
confirmed..

3. I also question the overall effects of poisoning with regards to many other
environmental potential or possible adversities that the park employees have
yet to discover. It's almost an everyday thing that scientist are coming up with
contradictory finding for what at one time was considered scientific fact. It
happens with medicines we take the food we eat. It happened with dams we built
that were thought to be the thing to do years ago, yet are now being torn down.
Who is to say it won't happen with the park's efforts to further mess with nature.
According to the park employees themselves, the problem they are planning to
fix happened because of the original stocking of non-native fish in the park by
guess who - the park. I mean, after all they are in the same category of people
that put the brown and rainbow trout in the streams of Yellowstone and Great
Smoky Mountain National Parks to begin with. At the time, that was thought to be
the thing to do and in fact, it may well have been. Some guides are saying, why
replace fish that already provides sport with different species. While I don't
agree with that wholeheartedly, I see their point from strictly a fishing standpoint.

4. Insofar as the "catch and kill" regulations, I think they have little or no effect. I
have yet to see anyone kill or keep one fish in the existing areas under this rule.
I believe most anglers simply are not going to do it in spite of the park's rules. I
also am quite sure this would be worthless in larger rivers like the Gardner and
Yellowstone River below the respective falls in each river. How do you keep
rainbows from coming into the river from the Yellowstone River outside the park,
which could infiltrate the Gardner also? Even if everyone complied, there would
be far less trout killed than those reproduced. The "catch and kill" of brown trout
and well as rainbows in these two streams is also a worthless effort.
Furthermore, doing so is destroying a viable fishery for visiting sportsman.

5. The tributaries to Yellowstone Lake and Yellowstone River (above Upper
Falls), probably all need closed to fishing. I doubt there are any that some
cutthroats don't spawn in. The upper river should stay as is insofar as the
opening and closing dates as far as I can determine. I see evidence of little
harm to the fishery in the upper river below the lake by anglers.

6. Although the problem of cutthroat/rainbow hybridization may be increasing to
the point it is a huge problem soon, the number one, big problem is Yellowstone
Lake. This is also my big problem with the park's ability to do anything about the
whole mess. So far, they have only been able to slow down the increase in the
lake trout as far as I can determine by looking at their own reports. I think all
efforts should be directed towards reducing the lake trout population. That
would solve most of the entire park's problem. It would also allow other waters to
possibly be available to fish one day. I mean, is the next thing killing all the
rainbow and brown trout in the Madison and restocking grayling?

I don't see Yellowstone Lake as a impossible or an effort that could be a total
failed attempt. I doubt it will ever be rid of lake trout, but it can be controlled to
the point it is ineffective in reducing the population of cutts. It's already proven
to be effective in reducing the population of lake trout and it appears that all it
needs is a much larger effort, meaning mostly - funding. This is something not
only threatening the existence of the Yellowstone Cutthroat trout in it's once
stronghold area, it's interfering with the great fishing that once existed in the
upper Yellowstone River and all the tributaries as well as the main food source
of many animals and birds. If the park has been unable to do something about
this (more than the meager effort that has taken place), how in hell is it going to
solve many other problems. Instead of waisting money planning for years and
creating more government jobs for the overall restoration plan, why not do
something now. Yes, I know a long term plan is needed, but that's where all the
effort seems to be going while the problem with the native fish grows every day.
Right now put the fire out.